‘You’re the sh*t’: How Fred Couples is inspiring this LPGA pro

fred couples walks with a putter in his hand wearing a blue sweater. alison lee stands wearing a visor wearing a grey pullover

Alison Lee is playing some of her best golf of season, and she credits Fred Coupes for her late-season resurgence.

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Alison Lee is on some kind of heater.

Over the past month, she’s racked up two runner-up finishes and a win at the Aramco Team Series, registering a scoring average of 65.6 over her last 13 rounds. Now at the CME Group Tour Championship, Lee is once again in fine form, finding herself near the top of the leaderboard in a bid to claim the $2 million first prize.

“It’s pretty fricking good,” Lee said. “It’s been really cool to play some good golf. Been a lot of fun.”

This season hasn’t always been so fun.

For much of 2023, Lee could never quite find her game. She didn’t miss many cuts (she’s missed the weekend just twice all season), but she rarely found herself in contention. The mediocrity began to wear on the 28-year-old.

“Just three, four months ago I would joke around how I’m only going to play for a few more years and retire,” Lee said. “I thought over and over again, like, yeah, I don’t think I’ll ever win. I don’t think I’ll be a top player anymore. That’s just not me.”

As any golfer knows, confidence is everything. And when that confidence is shaken, it can be tough to get it back.

Luckily for Lee, those around her lifted her up.

“[They] were always sending me positive messages telling me I have what it takes,” she said. “Because I didn’t believe it. To see them see my game and believe in me, I kind of tried to hold onto that and push my way through.”

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But it wasn’t just those closest to Lee that assisted in resurgence. She also found inspiration from former Masters champ Fred Couples.

“A couple months ago now, I played golf with Freddy Couples in a pro-am,” Lee said. “It was my first time meeting him. We played 18 holes. Afterwards he got my number and we have been texting back and forth the last couple months.

“Every single day, ‘You’re so good at golf,'” she continued. “You need to believe it. I was like, ‘Oh, Freddy, it’s fine. I’m okay. I don’t know what you’re talking about.'”

Lee went so far as to call Couples her “No. 1 supporter” over the last few months.

“He just was hammering into me like you need to believe. You’re a good player. You need to go out there and believe you’re the sh*t and you can do it,” Lee said. “Hammering that into me really resonated with me.”

Once Lee began to believe the things Couples was saying, there was no looking back. In her last six starts, Lee has vaulted from No. 65 in the Rolex Rankings all the way up to No. 27. And now at the CME Group Tour Championship, Lee has positioned herself for a weekend run at the LPGA’s season-long title.

“It’s better late than never,” Lee said. “Over the last few weeks, putting myself in contention, playing four rounds of really good golf, and almost winning a few times, it’s definitely ignited a fire in me. Definitely given me a lot more motivation to work hard, and it’s shown me that I do still have what it takes to win out here.”

Zephyr Melton

Golf.com Editor

Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for GOLF.com where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Prior to joining the team at GOLF, he attended the University of Texas followed by stops with the Texas Golf Association, Team USA, the Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He assists on all things instruction and covers amateur and women’s golf. He can be reached at zephyr_melton@golf.com.

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